In the wake of England’s defeat to Australia at Twickenham yesterday, all manner of excuses have been made, and here is our reaction.
There was a lot of talk about the importance of performance versus results. Yesterday, we got neither.
Australia deserved to win, and there’s no denying that, but for me, the biggest issue was the complete absence of a gameplan. Ask yourself now: what were England trying to do?
Geraghty seemed intent on the little chip over the top, even when it wasn’t on. The running attack was lateral, looking for gaps with no real belief that they would have created any. And worst of all, the speed of possession was laborious.
How many times have we seen the tiresome pick-and-go tactic from England in the middle of the park, with no sense of what they are trying to achieve, and no penetration either? The inevitability of phase after phase of slow ball, followed by the turnover, was excruciating.
On a positive note, Jonny is back and was the main reason that we kept the losing margin within single figures. Lewis Moody was also a shining light in a fairly dreadful pack, Courtney Lawes made more of an impact in 10 minutes than Louis Deacon did in 70, and Australia wasted a few chances to make the scoreline embarrassing.
Plenty will be said about England over the coming weeks, but the England coaches should start taking responsibility. Indeed, the injury toll is unprecendented, but does that excuse the lack of a gameplan? The coaches have been together now for some time, but England’s lack of direction continues to stifle, and there is still no light at the end of the tunnel.
Here is Jonny Wilkinson’s reaction to the performance (we’ve edited out most of the questions because the sound was rubbish).
What do you think? Where did England go wrong? What should change next week?